The first Father’s day was celebrated in June of 1910. A little girl by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd who lived in Spokane, Washington, USA had the idea to devote a day to celebrate fathers while listening to a church sermon on Mother’s Day in 1909. Variations of Mother’s Day started as early as 1870. Sonora’s mother died when she was young, so her father played role of mother and father. Sonora’s love and adoration for her father led her to chose the first Father’s Day to be on June 19, 1910-her father’s birthday. In 1956, the United States Congress was recognized as a national holiday. President Nixon declared the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day in the United States in 1972. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, France, Japan and India all celebrate Father’s Day onthe third Sunday in June. The rest of the countries of the world celebrate Father’s Day some other day of the year.
This Father’s Day is especially important to me as my almost 82 year old father suffered a stoke on Valentine’s Day this year, ironically after he greatly sampled a box of chocolates. What does this have to do with chocolate? Everything. Most of my memories of chocolate have to do with my father. From the age of 4 until I was 8, when I woke up on Valentine’s day morning there was a big, red, heart shaped box full of chocolates at the bottom of my bed. They were from my Dad. My favorite one had a doll tied to it with red ribbons securing her to the box. I couldn’t wait for him to get home to share the chocolates with him. The box always seemed to be made up of our favorites – creams for me and nuts for him. For Halloween, I always divided my candy up when I got home. Dad always supervised. There was the candy pile and the chocolate candy pile. I always let him take his favorites which were usually the Almond Joy and Mounds. I would share one peanut butter cup, because those and the Snickers were my favorites. From the Easter Bunny, who I later found out was Mom and Dad, Dad always wanted to check my basket to see what I got. He had to try some to make sure it was okay. When I got a little brother and sister, they got the eggs that Dad liked and I continued to get my onepound peanut butter eggs. How great was that?
Now looking back, Dad was always the one anxious to try new chocolate with me. He loved the idea of “directions” in the box just like I do. Why poke holes in the bottoms and ruin them when you know exactly what you want, you just need to know where it is in the box? He was just released from hospital one month ago. His progress is very slow. He can’t eat the way he used to, needs help to eatand his enjoyments are limited. Over the weekend I received a box of truffles and his eyes lit up when I showed them to him. I felt like the tables had turned. I told him slowly what each one was and repeated it once so he could decide what he wanted. He went for the triple chocolate truffle. I cut it up in quarters for him since he’s having a hard time biting and chewing. Not only did he feed himself…he savored the chocolate. It’s the first time I actually saw him really and truly enjoy the experience. The next day we did another.
The small enjoyments in life are where our memories are made. When I have children, I will pass down the stories of how their “Tata” loved his chocolate. They will here about the big red heart boxes with dolls, ribbons, silk flowers and cards. They’ll hear about the huge bags of Halloween candy and chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny. What they’ll really remember is the day “Tata” enjoyed his chocolate truffle for the first time with eyes closed, mouth not moving, just letting the chocolate melt. He enjoyed it so much, he couldn’t even finish it. Chocolates aren’t just for mothers. Make sure you pick your father up some lovely chocolates this Father’s Day to show him how much you care. He’ll be tickled pink! He may even share.